Friday, October 17, 2008
I listened to Cathleen Kral talking about literacy coaching in Boston Public Schools today. The Boston literacy coaching scheme has attracted a lot of attention and there are some sound principles underpinning the approach, but somehow the whole coaching metaphor seems to me to be a bit problematic. Then again I suppose 'lead literacy teacher' or 'literacy consulant' can be difficult, too. I'd like to hear more about how literacy is actually defined in this scheme, because the examples of key words and think alouds seem very oriented to instructional print-literacy routines. Here literacy is the handmaid of content knowledge. A broader view of curriculum and a wider concept of literacy is needed if we are to better serve children and young people in my opinion. Here's the NCTE on the Boston programme and more background (PDF).